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Inhaler recycling pilot launched by Co-operative Pharmacy and GSK

by News team

Patients are being encouraged to return their used GSK inhalers to 40 participating Co-operative Pharmacies in South Wales and South-East England for recycling. Pharmacists will be expected to promote the scheme, which the companies say is the first of its type.

GSK estimates that around 35 million of its respiratory inhalers, including 25 million Ventolin (salbutamol) packs, are used in the UK every year creating around 450 tonnes of waste, which ends up in landfills or is incinerated.

The recycling company behind the initiative, TerraCycle UK, will process and sort the inhalers into material type, with the recycled components sold on for use in new products. The recovered aerosol will be sent to a specialist company who will recycle the metal components and collect any remaining liquid or propellant gas. The gas is then used as a replacement fuel in high temperature incinerators and cement kilns. No part of the aerosol container goes to landfill.

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal URI: 11067380

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